Comparative physiological studies on the growth of field crops. III. The effect of infection with beet yellows and beet mosaic viruses on the growth and yield of the sugar-beet root crop

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Watson, D. J. and Watson, M. A. 1953. Comparative physiological studies on the growth of field crops. III. The effect of infection with beet yellows and beet mosaic viruses on the growth and yield of the sugar-beet root crop. Annals of Applied Biology - AAB. 40 (1), pp. 1-37.

AuthorsWatson, D. J. and Watson, M. A.
Abstract

Infection with beet yellows virus depressed the dry‐matter yield of sugar‐beet plants by decreasing both leaf area and net assimilation rate (N.A.R.). It did not reduce the number of leaves.

The lower N.A.R. of infected plants may occur because photosynthesis is slowed by chlorosis of the leaves or by changes associated with it. Plants infected at the end of June had 30‐50% of their leaf area yellowed from mid‐August. Later infection caused less yellowing. The yellowing almost sufficed to account for the decrease in N.A.R., if yellowed parts of leaves do not photosynthesize. However, the similar diurnal fluctuations of carbohydrate in the laminae of healthy and infected leaves suggests that photosynthesis may not be much slowed by infection; if so, the decrease in N.A.R. indicates a large increase in respiration rate, especially of the root.

The effects of yellows on leaf area and N.A.R. appear to be independent; late‐sown plants suffered a greater reduction of leaf area, but a smaller reduction in N.A.R., than early‐sown plants; similarly treated plants showed the same reduction of leaf area in two successive years, but the decrease in N.A.R. was much greater in the second.

Most of the loss of dry matter was in the root; the dry weight of the petiole (including stem tissue) was also decreased but the dry weight of leaf lamina was little affected.

Yellows greatly increased the reducing sugars in the leaf lamina, and caused smaller increases in sucrose and starch. These effects appeared when the leaves showed only etch symptoms. The increase in starch was greatest at this time, but the effect on sugar content subsequently increased with the development of yellowing.

Yellows reduced the water content, nitrogen content and the arealweight ratio of the leaf lamina. The change in nitrogen content, but not the others, could be accounted for by the rise in carbohydrate.

Yellows had no effect on the water content of petiole and root; it increased the nitrogen content of these parts. It reduced the sucrose content of the root, but the loss of sugar yield was mainly attributable to decreased root weight.

Infection with beet mosaic virus decreased the dry weight of sugar‐beet plants only when nitrogenous fertilizer was applied. As with yellows infection, the loss of dry matter resulted from reductions in both leaf area and N.A.R. Unlike yellows, mosaic depressed the dry weight of leaf lamina, as well as of petiole and root.

Mosaic had no effect on carbohydrate content, water content or arealweight ratio of the leaf lamina, or on water content of petiole and root. It increased the nitrogen content of all parts of plants that received no nitrogenous fertilizer, but not of nitrogen‐treated plants. It slightly increased the sucrose content of the root.

Infection with beet mosaic virus at the end of June caused a 20 yo loss of sugar yield from plants that received nitrogenous fertilizer. Yellows infection of similar plants at the same date reduced the sugar yield by 50%.

Year of Publication1953
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology - AAB
Journal citation40 (1), pp. 1-37
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1744-7348.1953.tb02364.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Print01 Mar 1953
Online26 Feb 2008
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN0003-4746
PublisherWiley

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